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Bulletin #2 : Visual Alarms

By United States Access Board

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Book Id: WPLBN0000703184
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 309.57 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: Bulletin #2 : Visual Alarms  
Author: United States Access Board
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, Access Board, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
Collections: U.S. Access Board Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: United States Access Board


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Access Board, U. S. (n.d.). Bulletin #2 : Visual Alarms. Retrieved from

Government Reference Publication

Excerpt: Why are visual alarms required? One American in a hundred has a severe hearing loss; nearly one in ten has a significant loss. In 1984, the Digest of Data on Persons with Disabilities reported that: (t)he severity of hearing problems was strongly associated with age. Persons 65 and older constituted 69 percent of the population with the most severe hearing trouble...but only 8.7 percent of the population without hearing trouble. Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing?a growing percentage of our population, due largely to the growth in the numbers of older persons?depend upon visual cues to alert them to emergencies. A visual alarm provides persons with hearing loss the same warning delivered to hearing persons by an audible alarm. Audible fire alarms have been a standard feature of building construction since the life safety codes of the early 1900s. However, visible signals did not appear even in accessibility codes until 1980. Early standards required relatively dim flashing lights at exit signs--an alarm system that was effective only along an exit route. As accessibility, life safety, and building codes were revised, however, they began to incorporate alarm technology that was developed for use in schools for persons who are deaf and in factories where ambient noise levels made audible alarms ineffective.


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